Sunday, January 9, 2011

wire, burlap and pattern paper

 I've been experimenting in my studio, which can be a fun thing-but since I'm learning as I go-it can also be a slow process. I have to find out what will work, and how to make a mistake not a mistake. I like the idea of white painted chicken wire to make birds.
 In one of my sleepless nights recently, I went on a wool-gathering mission of making things in my head. It's a way of at least using that time for something good-not just lying there wide awake. So I was thinking of how to make my birds more primitive looking and thought how washed cotton duck cloth would look very wrinkly if I just put it through a wash cycle without putting it through the dryer, which would soften out some of the wrinkles. That project turned out good. Now I have a pile to hand sew on my bird forms.
 I nice bag of burlap scraps is very good to have around...
 This project came from a wakeful night, and I did get it carried out much like what I pictured in my head. It's a lamp, with the shade made of hardware cloth wire, and old paper pattern pieces glued over it. Between some of the layers, I put circles I cut out of medium heavy paper. I used clothes pins for the lamp feet. There is a trick using pattern paper-it's delicate. I used a clear sealer over it to harden it up after it dried. I used wall paper paste already mixed up as my glue-it works very well and has a good consistency.
...looking down on the inside of the lamp, which I still have to wire up. The light bulb must be a fluorescent one so it won't heat up the paper. A burlap shade would be cool too...
 You can see that this technique could be fun for other applications. The pattern paper can be lightly rolled into long ropes and paper mached to things that way too. You have to glue it to itself-it wouldn't stay by itself on wire.
Speaking of wire, I have lots of different kinds. The big bird cage was a junk find, and I think it would be a fantastic lamp without any covering at all. It's about 3 feet tall and could be a floor lamp.

I finally got the studio cleaned and a lot more organized. I covered a pile of saved up shoe boxes with muslin and labeled them. Hopefully, I won't have to spend time hunting for supplies.

Would love to hear what you're doing!

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